Emi Martinez posts Instagram photo as Aston Villa sweat on injury for Olympiacos

Unai Emery will be hoping to welcome Emi Martinez back into his Aston Villa squad to face Olympiacos on Thursday for the Europa Conference League semi-final second leg.

Villa will travel to Athens on Wednesday ahead of the showdown at the Karaiskakis Stadium (8pm kick-off BST). Martinez could return to the side if he proves his fitness after missing Sunday’s defeat at Brighton.

He picked up a small hamstring injury in the first half of Villa’s Premier League clash against Chelsea 10 days ago and was replaced at half-time by Robin Olsen. Martinez trained on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s match at the Amex and would have been named in the squad if he came through the session feeling comfortable.

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But clearly Martinez wasn’t 100 per cent fit to play as he didn't make the squad. Emery said in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Brighton that he was unwilling to take any unnecessary risks on his No. 1.

Asked after the game if Martinez will be fit to play against Olympiacos this week, Emery was unsure and suggested that he needed to rest in the coming days.

Martinez has since taken to Instagram to post a picture of himself on the grass at Bodymoor Heath dressed in training wear, with his gloves and boots on. He was accompanied by his son, Santi. It’s unclear whether Martinez was training alone or having a kick-about with his son, but it’s a promising sign that he appears to be making progress nonetheless.

In a bid to speed up his recovery, he has been receiving treatment from Argentina national team kinesiologist Pablo Capuchetti.

On Sunday afternoon, Martinez shared a picture on Instagram taken by Emi Buendia of Capuchetti massaging his hamstring in the back garden. The goalkeeper gave a thumbs up and captioned the pic with: "Buenos mates" while tagging Buendia and Capuchetti.

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